Part 2: The Security & Compliance Dilemma

August 18, 2016

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“A staggering 43% of Companies have experienced a data breach in the past year” -USA Today Article 9/14/14

In Part 2 of our series on “Why You Should Be Teaming Up with an A/V Company” we are going to explore the security and compliance dilemma that big and small companies face today, how conferences and meetings are a great opportunity for thieves and hackers to steal your information, and how your A/V team can be a huge help in keeping your data yours.

More than ever, the security threat to proprietary information and data is present. Corporate theft can be a dynamic problem that can hurt a company’s bottom line and customer trust. In worst-case scenarios it even can cause bankruptcy.

Very recently, we have seen the damage that data theft can cause with the release of emails from the Democratic National Convention. Even the most secure institutions like the NSA have data and propriety information stolen.  

Below we’ll offer some guidance on how you can limit your vulnerabilities when you are onsite, especially by utilizing your A/V team.

It’s easy to believe that you and your company could never be the target of such an attack. And though there is no guarantee that you will ever be 100% protected there are several ways you can limit your vulnerability, especially when you are out of the office for conferences and events where hackers and thieves actively try and exploit you.


PowerPoints and similar software are the most widely used medium to share information at meetings and events.  These presentations often contain proprietary information that should only be seen by invited attendees and internal stakeholders.  Password protecting these files before they are distributed provides an extra layer of security that would stop most would-be thieves cold. Add an additional layer of security by purchasing a PIN-access USB drive that requires an actual PIN number to open the USB drive on the computer. Ask your onsite technician to password protect these files for you, or limit those to whom they can be distributed. As a rule, Atema Partners technicians will be sure to “secure delete” any of the files we receive from you, so they will never be viewed the next time that computer is used.

Printed Materials

Even in today’s digital age, materials and information still need to be printed. Unfortunately, we see many times that those physical copies (whether they contain sensitive information or not) get left behind in breakout rooms, outside bathrooms, and in guest rooms. Though we can’t help out in the guest rooms, there is no harm in asking your A/V team to do a room sweep for any materials left behind. To us that means looking under the tables, behind the screen, and even in the trash. Oftentimes, we are the first in the room and the last to leave.  It’s in any audio visual companies best interest to commit to this standard as it creates trust between both parties. We ask all our staff to make it habit, and it’s helped our clients numerous times.

Reader Boards

Reader Boards are the screens that you will see in the lobby of a hotel or meeting space to help guide guests and attendees to where they need to be. Unfortunately, they can also be a great source of information for people who don’t need to know where you are meeting. We recommend asking your hotel contact to remove your group name from these boards and replace it with a nickname or initials that are known to your guests. You might even consider not listing your meeting and locations all together. There are a myriad of meeting apps that attendees can use to get where they need to go. Let your A/V team know about this so that they can help direct people to the right places; we are always in the hallways helping kick off rooms so it’s an easy way we add value for our clients.

Wireless Networks

Wireless Internet networks are another route that people can take to hijack your information. Depending on the venue, you are meeting, and oftentimes you will see open or unsecured wireless networks that you can join. These are not to be trusted. Have your A/V team establish a separate private network that you can use for your onsite office and meeting space. The team can work with the hotel or venue to get it set up and working. It’s also a great way to save money, as hotel wifi can be extremely expensive.

 We hope that Part 2 of “Why You Should Be Teaming Up with an A/V Company” has been helpful.  Look for Part 3, which will focus on how to choose the best A/V company for what you need.

Have questions or feedback? Get in touch with us!